CAMBRIDGE, MASS, December 15, 2011-Atlas Venture, an early-stage venture capital firm, today announced that it has entered into a multi-year collaboration with Shire Human Genetic Therapies ("Shire") to explore investment opportunities in early-stage rare disease therapeutics. Shire and Atlas will work together to identify strategic investments for early stage venture creation around rare genetic diseases. The partnership leverages Shire's capabilities and knowledge in the research and development of rare diseases with Atlas' expertise in the formation and growth of early stage companies.
"As a leader in rare diseases, this partnership is another way for Shire to ensure that we expand into new disease areas and continue to apply cutting edge technologies in this space," said Philip J. Vickers, Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Shire. "Working with an organization like Atlas provides us with a new source of external expertise that is complementary to our internal capabilities and has a clear focus on Shire's goal of bringing innovative therapies to patients suffering from rare diseases worldwide."
The creative alliance structure provides an opportunity early in the venture process to utilize all of Shires capabilities in rare diseases from research to commercialization, while leveraging the extensive Atlas network and experience in company formation. Under the agreement, professionals from both Shire and Atlas will be dedicated to work closely together to advance the collaboration effort.
"The partnership with Shire is truly synergistic and leverages our individual strengths to create and fund new startups around high potential medical science early in the R&D cycle," said Dr. Bruce Booth, Atlas Venture partner. "There is an unmet need for the discovery and development of rare disease therapeutics and we are pleased to partner with a leader in this space."
Additional terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.
About Atlas Venture
Atlas Venture is a leading early-stage international venture capital firm that invests in technology and life sciences businesses. Since inception in 1980, its partners have helped build over 350 companies in more than 16 different countries. For more information visit Atlas' website at www.atlasventure.com.
About Shire PLC
Shire's strategic goal is to become the leading specialty biopharmaceutical company that focuses on meeting the needs of the specialist physician. Shire focuses its business on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, human genetic therapies, gastrointestinal diseases and regenerative medicine as well as opportunities in other therapeutic areas to the extent they arise through acquisitions. Shire's in-licensing, merger and acquisition efforts are focused on products in specialist markets with strong intellectual property protection and global rights. Shire believes that a carefully selected and balanced portfolio of products with strategically aligned and relatively small-scale sales forces will deliver strong results. For further information on Shire, please visit the Company's website: www.shire.com.